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The Villages
Thursday, June 30, 2022

The Villages wants prime street parking reserved for renters at Spanish Springs

The Villages wants prime street parking reserved for renters at Spanish Springs Town Square.

The Villages last month filed a site plan for seven apartments in the Van Patten House, the former home of Katie Belle’s.

The Lady Lake Town Commission is scheduled to discuss the request from The Villages at a meeting set for 6 p.m. Monday, May 2 at Lady Lake Town Hall.

The agenda for the meeting was released on Wednesday and includes additional details about The Villages’ plans, including where the renters will park. The plan calls for 16 parking spots, including one handicapped-designated space.

The Villages wants to take prime street parking spots at the square for renters in the former home of Katie Belles
The Villages wants to take prime street parking spots at the square for renters in the former home of Katie Belle’s.

A map provided by the Developer of The Villages shows the majority of the parking spots will be located on Del Mar Drive, directly in front of the Van Patten House. Two would be located across the street at the square. Two more renter-designated parking spots would be located next to the Farmshed restaurant (previously TooJay’s Gourmet Deli.) And two more renter-designated spots would be located on Alverez Avenue near World of Beer.

This drawing submitted by The Villages reveals plans to take street parking for residents of apartments at the former home of Katie Belles
This drawing submitted by The Villages reveals plans to take street parking for residents of apartments at the former home of Katie Belle’s.

Many residents, including Mayor Jim Rietz, who has a large “Save Spanish Springs” decal on the rear window of his vehicle, remain suspicious of The Villages’ potential long-term agenda for the original town square. There are fears that the elimination of Katie Belle’s, cutting the extended happy hour previously enjoyed exclusively at Spanish Springs, and the mysterious silence on the future of the shuttered Rialto Theater, are part of a secret plan to suck the life out of the square. Some have expressed concern that The Villages will end nightly entertainment at the square.

Share your thoughts on The Villages’ plan for parking at the square in a Letter to the Editor at [email protected]

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